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Superhero Ethics episode 271

Psychology of The Boys with the Editors of Supes Ain’t Always Heroes

The Boys: Superheroes, Villains, and the Complex Psychology Behind Their Morality

In this fascinating discussion, host Matthew Fox is joined by psychologists Dr. Lynn Zubernis and Dr. Matthew Snyder, editors of the new book “Supes Ain’t Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys.”

They dive deep into the psychological themes and moral complexities of the hit Amazon Prime show The Boys, analyzing topics like:

  • The appeal of antiheroes like Butcher and flawed supers like Homelander and Soldier Boy
  • How the show explores toxic masculinity, internalized misogyny, and gender dynamics
  • The idea of “murder baby kittens” – villains we feel sympathy for despite their actions
  • Why fans forgive certain problematic male characters more than female ones
  • How trauma and mental health struggles are portrayed realistically and multidimensionally

Dr. Zubernis and Dr. Snyder provide fascinating psychological insights from their expertise while examining why this subversive take on the superhero genre resonates so strongly. Their book features essays by experts from many fields analyzing the show’s social commentary and appeal.

For any fan of The Boys looking to go deeper into its messages and character psychology, this is a must-listen discussion.

Riki Hayashi and Matthew Fox explore the ethical questions from the stories geeks love—superheroes, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, video games, and so much more.
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